Jockey exposed as a serial impostor

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The Independent Online
A JOCKEY WHO HAS taken the amateur ranks by storm this year has been exposed as a rogue impostor. Puerto Rican-born Angel Jacobs, who has ridden five winners this summer from 21 mounts, has admitted that he is really banned former American professional rider Angel Monserrate.

Jacobs, who had been due to ride tomorrow in a prestigious amateur race at Goodwood, began his Walter Mitty- style masquerade when he and his English wife, Lisa, arrived in Britain 11 months ago. He claimed he was the godson of US riding legend Angel Cordero - the man from whom Frankie Dettori copied his flying dismount - and began to exercise horses for Newmarket trainers in the mornings.

His style and competence led to rides in amateur races, where it soon became apparent that he was in a different league from his part-time rivals. His expertise when riding a finish attracted favourable comment from the sport pundits and the attention of the British Amateur Jockeys Association, a body always keen to foster new talent.

But a deeper investigation into his background revealed that, as Monserrate, he had been banned from the professional jockey and work-rider sector in America in 1995 for failing a drugs test. Undeterred, he had posed as an amateur called Carlos Castro in New York a year later, but was recognised and later arrested in the winners' enclosure at the Aqueduct track, accused of forgery, criminal trespass and tampering with a sports event.

None of the trainers who offered mounts to Jacobs in England were aware of his chequered background. His first winner came on Bold Faith, for Newmarket trainer Willie Musson, at Newbury on June 11, and his most recent was 15 days ago at Beverley on Gymcrack Flyer, whose trainer Gordon Holmes said: "I had seen him riding, and my only thought was that he was a very good amateur jockey to use.

Jacobs/Castro/Monserrate was in hiding yesterday, but his wife said: "He just loves riding racehorses and was desperate to carry on. In amateur races he gets paid no money.

Jockey Club stewards have objected to Gymcrack Flyer and the mare will be disqualified. And yesterday the club withdrew Jacobs' licence to ride, so no recognised turf authority in the world will now entertain this Angel unawares.

Racing's public image has taken something of a battering recently. Three jump jockeys were arrested as part of a race-fixing investigation; last month brought allegations of starting price rigging; and earlier this week police were called in by the sport's trade paper after the printing of incorrect greyhound race results resulted in a minor gambling coup.